STOP Eviction —OR— DELAY Eviction
In some Landlord-Tenant cases, we can help you STOP EVICTION! We can help you STOP Eviction if you have a Landlord who is doing things that are illegal in California.
Are you being evicted? If so, don’t panic!
Tenants have rights!
You do not have to leave your home!
If you are being wrongfully evicted we will prepare all necessary court documents to STOP EVICTION!
If you have been served a 3/30/60 day Notice-to-Quit or Unlawful Detainer, and your landlord is legally in the right, we can DELAY EVICTION. We will prepare the necessary court documents so you will get more time in your current home. When you have us help you DELAY EVICTION you can save money, find a new place on your schedule (NOT your landlord’s schedule) and you can continue to reside where your now live without looking out the window for the Sheriff coming to lock you out.
Call us at (855) 775-5400. We will fight to protect you, your family, and your home.
Things that might STOP EVICTION, Break a Lease, or DELAY EVICTION
- Habitability – Landlord’s rental units must meet minimum habitability standards
- Harassment – California state law and local ordinances protect tenants against landlord harassment
- Privacy Rights – Federal and California state law protects your right to privacy and “quiet enjoyment”
- Retaliation – Landlord cannot retaliate against a tenant if that tenant complained about an unsafe living condition
- Discrimination – Landlord must not violate discriminate in advertising, in questions asked on rental applications, etc.
- Eviction Procedures – Landlord must follow exact procedures to terminate a tenancy with proper notices, etc.
- Disclosures – Landlord must disclose mold and lead-paint threats, whether you might be paying for ANY common area, or other tenant’s electricity or other utility costs
- California Rent Laws – Little details such as returned check fees
- Security Deposits – Landlord may not exceed maximum amounts of security deposits
EVICTION DEFENSES IN CALIFORNIA
STOP EVICTION / DELAY EVICTION!
Does your Rental House or Apartment have Habitability Issues? Is Your Rental Unit Unsafe? If your rental home or apartment is unsafe and violates California Health or Safety Codes, we might be able to help you STOP EVICTION! In fact, that might mean that you don’t owe rent.
California is known as a Tenant-Friendly state. If your landlord is not providing you with “habitable housing” as defined under local and state housing codes, a court will usually agree that you have already been “constructively evicted”! This means that the landlord, by supplying you with unlivable housing (uninhabitable housing), has for all practical purposes already “evicted” you. Therefore, you have no further responsibility to be paying the landlord rent. As helpful as this information might sound, if that is your situation, you will need some professional help to make your case and STOP EVICTION, BREAK A LEASE (if that too would help you), or legally STOP PAYING RENT.
California law sets specific requirements for the procedures a tenant must follow before attempting to STOP EVICTION, BREAKING a Lease, or MOVING OUT because of a ‘habitability issue’ – an issue that can only be solved by the landlord making necessary major repairs. To STOP EVICTION, BREAK A LEASE, STOP PAYING RENT, and to MOVE OUT, the habitability problem must be truly serious. For example, a MAJOR habitability problem that would meet the legal threshold is a lack of heat.
A dwelling may be considered uninhabitable (unlivable) if it substantially lacks any of the following:
- Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors
- Plumbing facilities in good working order, including hot and cold running water, connected to a sewage disposal system
- Gas facilities in good working order
- Heating facilities in good working order
- An electric system, including lighting, wiring, and equipment, in good working order
- Clean and sanitary buildings, grounds, and appurtenances (for example, a garden or a detached garage), free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin
- Adequate trash receptacles in good repair
- Floors, stairways, and railings in good repair
In addition to these requirements, each rental unit must have all the following:
- A working toilet, wash basin, and bathtub or shower. The toilet and bathtub or shower must be in a room which is ventilated and allows privacy
- A kitchen with a sink that cannot be made of an absorbent material such as wood
- Natural lighting in every room through windows or skylights. Windows in each room must be able to open at least halfway for ventilation, unless a fan provides mechanical ventilation
- Safe fire or emergency exits leading to a street or hallway. Stairs, hallways, and exits must be kept litter-free. Storage areas, garages, and basements must be kept free of combustible materials
- Operable dead bolt locks on the main entry doors of rental units, and operable locking or security devices on windows
- Working smoke detectors in all units of multi-unit buildings, such as duplexes and apartment complexes. Apartment complexes also must have smoke detectors in common stairwells
- A locking mail box for each unit. The mail box must be consistent with the United States Postal Service standards for apartment housing mail boxes
- Ground fault circuit interrupters for swimming pools and anti-suction protections for wading pools in apartment complexes and other residential settings (but not single family residences)
Call us if your rental unit (house or apartment) has habitability issues – or if your unit is an illegal unit (e.g. a bootlegged converted garage). We would be very interested to learn about the condition of your apartment or rental home, and if your landlord has maintained your rental property in good repair.
HARASSMENT – Landlord Harasses You
You can sometimes STOP Eviction, BREAK a Lease, Stop Paying Rent, or DELAY Eviciton if your landlord has been harassing you. California state law and local ordinances protect tenants against landlord harassment. Landlords cannot harass tenants to get them to vacate or move from their home. While the rental unit might be the landlord’s property, in California it is the tenant’s home!
PRIVACY RIGHTS – Landlord Violates Your Privacy Rights
California and Federal Laws spell out one’s right to privacy – Another tenant of privacy is that local laws recognize the covenant, or promise, of “quiet enjoyment” of your rental unit. This promise of quiet enjoyment is often incorporated into standard California rental and lease agreements. Quiet enjoyment gives you, a tenant, the right to live undisturbed by intrusions from the outside world including your landlord and other tenants. Any annoyance that penetrates your space, such as cigarette smoke or loud music may violate your right to “quiet enjoyment.”
Coming around or entering your unit without prior written notice – If your landlord, or on-site manager, is coming by your rental house or apartment to look around for no apparent reason, or worse, is letting himself or herself into your home without prior notice, that suggests a landlord who does not respect your right to privacy. If they are entering your home without notice they are in violation of the law, unless it was an emergency. Under California state law, your landlord must give you 24 hours’ notice to enter your rental unit (Cal. Civ. Code § 1954).
If your landlord enters your unit without notifying you – or in other ways repeatedly violates your rights to privacy by essentially singling you out and visually-stalking you, this behavior would fall under the legal definition of being “constructively evicted.” Such actions might be cause STOP EVICTION, DELAY EVICTION, or BREAK a LONG-TERM LEASE to where you may STOP PAYING further rent.
RETALIATION – Landlord Shuts off Electricity or other Utilities
If you landlord does things like turning off your utilities – or any other essential service because you are late in paying your rent, that is illegal! In fact, a landlord cannot turn off any essential services that would make your rental unit uninhabitable because he or she retaliates against you for calling a city or private inspector to test for mold, or police to report other tenants selling drugs. Landlords sometimes turn off services in retaliation; to illegally force tenants to vacate. It is a violation of California law to shut off any essential utility for any reason other than to make critical repairs.
Landlord CANNOT change your locks, or lock you out – nor can he or she remove windows or doors. If any of these things happened to you as a tenant you would be considered to have already been “constructively evicted,” and such actions would be cause to STOP Eviction, Delay Eviction, or break a long-term lease often without any further obligation to pay rent.
It may be that you have just cause to NOT PAY RENT at all. There are many defenses a tenant might have as legitimate defenses to a 3-Day Notice, Unlawful Detainer or even to pay any further rent. Many defenses to Stop Eviction, Delay Eviction or cease paying rent can be advanced if your landlord is not providing you a safe, heated, pest-free, violence-free and habitable rental property.
STOP EVICTION or DELAY EVICTION
We Can Help – CALL US!
At Legal Service Center – we are Tenant Rights advocates ready and able to help you. Federal and California laws coupled with local county and city ordinances are on the books to protect Tenants Rights. Attempting to navigate all these laws, statutes and ordinances is often too complex and overwhelming for tenants with busy lives and schedules.
Call us at (855) 775-5400 to help you navigate the legal system to help you find legitimate defenses to your landlord’s notices and demands.
DELAYING EVICTION – Allows you to save Money and Get Extra Weeks!
Rather than spend hours or days trying to look for a way out of your dilemma, call us! We’d love to hear your story and then suggest ways we can help you STOP EVICTION, or at least DELAY EVICTION. If you are only able to DELAY EVICTION, that can be huge! Instead of a few days before you are literally forced out “on the street,” by the SHeriff, we can often help you buy more time (weeks or months) so you can save MONEY which you will need to secure a new place, and buy you MORE TIME for you to look for a place on your longer-schedule — NOT your landlord’s faster-schedule!
Call us today. You will be glad you did!
Please call (855) 775-5400 now…